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Floating of iron ship

  1. Oct 13, 2011 #1
    If you drop an iron nail into water it sinks. But a ship made up of iron floats in water. Please explain this to me.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 13, 2011 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Compare the density of an iron nail with the average density of the ship. (Is the inside of the ship, solid iron?)
  4. Oct 13, 2011 #3


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    Oh, come on!
    If you drop an empty can it also floats. The ship is not a piece of iron: it is rather a large volume of air surrounded by just a little bit of iron. If you replace the air with water (which happens if you make a hole in the hull) it floats no longer...
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